When I grow my own, my food becomes very precious
Instead of flowers in pots, I have been growing greens for the past few years. They are so much more practical and beautiful, too! I have an abundance of kinds throughout my small city garden and there are only two of us. With much sadness, I add: we are not rabbits. Last year I learned to cut back. After preparing the soil with the right amount of black dirt and compost, carefully picking and planting the seeds, then watching them reach for the sun every day, I would be sick to see even one tendril go to waste.
Today I saw that a big bouquet of radishes cost only 78 cents at the grocery store. Mine are priceless. I grew them. I peeked and peered and preened and pawed at them. Then I ate them with the respect and utmost joy they fully deserve.
So many chive flowers. So many chives. I vow to celebrate this gift in my garden by using every single one purposefully – or, giving them away! I was delighted to preserve Chive Vinaigrette this year.Â I have now made 2 jars with 150 flowers, and look what is still left! They are not yet in full bloom. They are gorgeous in salads and as a garnish. The chives go into everything the requires onions; I just snip off a bundle and snip-snip-snip them into my soups and salads and biscuits and sandwiches and potatoes. I have even made a chive focaccia inspired by a friend’s creative use of her chives and it was stellar. Vanja’s parent’s make a chive salad: chives with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper. It is incredibly tasty. The point is that I am compelled to use these chives. Wasting them would make me heartsick.
I will not have a problem with my carrots. I didn’t have room to plant to many, and they have a long shelf life. My carrots will be fully used as will most of my plantings this year. I will make sure of it.
Eating what I grow sure changes my menu! It maybe doesn’t satisfy every silly craving or every want, but it is delicious and gorgeous and gratifying. How do we teach this to our children when they look at a huge bundle of radishes for 78 cents or a homemade sandwich made with loving hands from home and toss them in the garbage because that is the “cool” thing to do?
This is why school gardens are so important. It isn’t just a “good idea” or a passing fancy. It is critical to the survival of our future generation. Today’s children are two, three, or more generations away from the farm. If they do not develop a relationship with our farmers and their food, we are all in very serious trouble.
Hi Valerie! It’s been a while since I dropped by, I hope you’re well. As well as your garden at least – how positively beautiful! Every year I tell myself we should grow more than just herbs, here is proof that our landscaping will not be compromised – and our life will certainly be more delicious. I know it would be so good for the children, too. Thank you for the wonderful reminder.
Wonderful to hear from you! It is so important. You have young children, and believe me, they will eat what they grow just like my students eat what they cook. They turn their noses up at suggestions, or at some of the ingredients they see going into a recipe, and the agreement is “one small taste”. Ninety-nine percent of the time they not only like it, they love it! It is the same with “their garden”. When they plant it, they eat it with all the magic and wonder and awe we all used to possess….
I was just telling my cousin today that I can’t even seem to keep herbs growing!
Nutmeg Nanny says
You are such a skilled gardener 🙂
Amen! One of the things I love about Austin is the plethora of home/school gardens. We are growing our own veggies this summer, and I must agree that they are priceless! As always, I love reading your posts. They always make me smile…and they make me want to get into my garden! Thank you for sharing all that you do. I hope you have a wonderful week!
The Kitchen Magpie says
We (the parents council) spent a fortune this past fall buying plant kits for each classroom. We have a “Green room” which has all 5 planters full of the kids veggies and edible flowers and the grow light, a bench and carpets.
It’s one of the best purchases we have ever done, kids and parents have lunch in there together, the kids have done artwork about their class garden and it’s all education at the same time.
I have been meaning to do a post about it and really should before school is out! It’s amazing and part of the reason I love our school so much.
What school is that? I want to call Liane Faulder and have her run over before the year is out and get a little bit in the Journal about it!
Emailed you and trust you to come up with such a great idea!
Your garden is so beautiful! The closest I can come to growing my own greens is take part in a CSA but it has also definitely changed the way I eat!
Sadly I have tried to grow just about everything on my condo deck, but alas with a huge maple tree blocking my sunshine nothing really grows. It is perfect to keep the apartment cool so I won’t complain. Instead I walk down to the community garden at the end of my block and watch their gardens grow!
Valerie your garden looks wonderful, and the pictures are so descriptive that I can almost taste the freshness you should be proud of your garden, enjoy the bounty
As a parent who doesn’t have a green thumb whatsoever, I think it is so great and helpful that schools are teaching our kids the importance of how to grow stuff and where our food comes from. K got to visit a petting farm last week as a field trip and I thought it was a great introduction to even young pre schoolers of where our animals come from. Of course they were too young to learn about the butchering process and all, but just being able to get a close up of all the different types of animals is a great start. Even in her classroom they have planted flowers, sprouted beans, learned about decomposing, and even hatched chicks. I was amazed at how much even pre schoolers are taught at such a young age. Makes me want to teach all over again! Whatever the school is able to teach the students is such wonderful help for families where mom and dad have to work long hours to make ends meet and don’t have the time or ate too tired to spend time with the kids after work. I am so proud of our teachers and education system here! Hope all is well with you, Valerie! Big hugs!
Anna Johnston says
Very true LeQuan. It’s important schools & the societies we live in support & teach each generation the connection between the food we eat & where it comes from.
Kevin Kossowan says
Great point. Being personally invested in the food changes how you view every last bit of it. Starting in schools makes sense. Kids are pretty darned smart if you let them be.
Kids are brilliant. Brilliant.
Lauren Rodgers says
you have always had the best garden around!! i want to have one of those someday!!